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How Politics Are Polarizing the Church

By New Churches Team

Every pastor, church planter, and campus pastor has a dilemma of how much to talk about politics. But the reality is that politics are dividing the church. So how can pastors lead in the midst of current circumstances?

Divisions at the Doorstep

Not only are we divided politically, but our political division comes right to the front door of our church when we are making decisions about whether or not we should meet in the midst of the pandemic. The different views on whether or not to open are largely driven by politics. These political realities have been driving the church more than the mission of Jesus during this season. Far too many people are being discipled by their cable news choices and spiritually shaped by their social media feed. So, the end result is that you are having to lead, not just in the midst of the pandemic, but also during a time of greater awareness of social justice. Everything has been politicized and therefore politics have been weaponized. For some people, silence is complicity. So, you may have a specific sense that you need to say something, but if you say the wrong thing you may be seen as supporting something you don’t. This is a time when our culture is so divided that it has seeped into and become a driving and divisive force in the church.

The Driving Force

People are spending 10-20 hours a week on social media and cable news and only an hour or two a week on biblical teaching. So, they are more likely to bring their ideological presuppositions that are reinforced, shaped, and radicalized on social media and cable news to their faith, instead of bringing their faith to the culture. The end result is we look far less like Christians who are showing and sharing the love of Jesus, and far more like partisan people who have lost their witness because they are so driven by their ideologies. These people are those who have made politics the defining reality of their lives instead of Jesus and gospel implications. But this doesn’t end with the election being over. This has become one of the great moments leading people astray from the truth of the gospel and it will have implications for generations to come.

Leaving the Echo Chamber

Everyone in your church is being discipled by some echo chamber. We have to choose to not be co-opted but rather to engage on mission. You get co-opted when you believe everything is terrible about someone else and nothing is bad about someone you support. You believe you have to win. Your victory is ultimately through defeating someone else. For us, the reality is we have to be more intentional. Uncritical partisanship is not the Christians ultimate call. If you can’t see what God is doing that is bigger and better you are in need of discipleship. As Christians, there is a time to say when something is wrong on both sides.

Adapted from the New Churches Q&A Podcast Episode 527: Politics and the Church. Click here to listen to more to church planting, multisite, and multiplication tips.



New Churches Team

NewChurches.com wants to help you build a strong foundation by connecting you with top experts in the field of church planting and multisite ministry, and by regularly providing you with the resources, information, and community you need to thrive as you multiply the mission of Matthew 28.


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